The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners.

According to Oxfam, the world’s rich are getting richer, leaving hundreds of millions of people facing a life “trapped in poverty” as global “inequality spirals out of control”.

The report found that the number of billionaires in the world has more than doubled to 1,646 since the financial crisis of 2009, and Oxfam says is evidence that the benefits of a return to economic growth are “not being shared with the vast majority”.

The influential report is supported by Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. It notes that since 2009 one million women have died in childcare due to lack of basic health care, and that 57m children are currently missing out on any form of education.

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